Americans offer the BEST Customer Service but Are They Slacking?

As I pushed open the door to enter a sports equipment shed type store in America I anticipated the good service, the good customer service I was about to receive. I’m a fan of american service. The store was just like any other big shed style store we have in the western world including the UK. But here is the difference: “are you looking for anything in particular?” questioned the young girl from about forty paces. She walked towards us and we answered ‘yes’ , the assistant started by asking us questions, the six steps to selling. The use or a good approach and questioning, my dear reader, IS the difference between a bad and a good service and possibly the difference between profit or loss. Think Comet.  The store I’m in is a USA national, a highly profitable store with a great staff ethos.

If you’re in retail take a look at building a sales process with positive ethos. Lets talk.

Great American service – But are they losing it? are they slacking?  YES: the Americans are not as upbeat as they have been in the boom years. Austere times are causing cut backs in staff, stock levels are obviously low, service is reduced, meals are smaller and any free service is reduced or removed. So yes, they are slacking a little but the survivors still  provide good structured service and because of that they sell more product.

One other thing that has always been missing from the American way of service is empathy. Americans don’t have it, they are ruthless with a sales focus. The girl in the store I described above did have empathy for me but this is thin on the ground in America, and always has been. The Brits are also very poor on empathy for different reasons, they have no sales structure anyway in most cases. I say this: build a great structured sales process and include staff and integrate customer empathy; you will have a profitable business even in fiscal cliff days.

My Customers Dont Like Social Media

My Customers Dont Like Social Media

My Customers Dont Like Social Media. Neither do I – its irritating, the terminology is confusing and what foes it do…


BUT set it up well and it can gather clients with little effort…

A project I’m working on has Facebook connected to Twitter so the client only has to up-date, ‘what’s on your mind’, Facebook and it auto populates Twitter. I’ve encouraged my client to open the Facebook page as a routine each morning and add to it as the day moves on. Nice thing too is if one adds a URL Facebook will pull in the text and images from that page. In most cases this is the business website. So we are connecting the business website to Facebook.

Why?! I hear the sceptics shout at me. ‘Reach’ is the answer. Social media lets you reach out to an interested audience. A little effort but its worth it.

Need help? Lets talk.

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How bricks and mortar retail can survive

How bricks and mortar retail can survive? More than 50% of consumers will do some browsing during the weekend, according to Kevin Sterneckert, vice president of retail research at Gartner.

“They will buy things because they looked at them in the store. They will touch and feel what they are interested in and then buy it online on Monday, either from the same retailer or a different online retailer.”

Last week was the start of Black Friday in USA. I experienced this marketing onslaught when I was in Arizona last year at this time. Its amazing. The TV adverts are booming out deals on cars, kitchens and department store wide offers. We are starting to see our British version now with quite 30% off two day sales etc. As consumers get even more savvy sales will become part of our yearly routine.

Don’t be too British – have a sale or a SALE! Consumers like it you know…


I asked: what would YOUR top three business fundamentals be?

I asked: what would YOUR top three business fundamentals be?

My friends on UK Business forums said:


Business Plan, Research and Research

Stay agile and don’t be afraid to try new things, Keep a heavy focus on service, Get on-line!

Don’t think that just because no one else is doing your idea that it will work. The reason for no one else doing it might be that they’ve all tried before and it doesn’t work.

Don’t expect to take a wage for months or even years.

Expect to work harder than you’ve ever worked before. New start ups always seem to get a shock at just how much work is involved in running a business.

Starting a new business is hard work, the best advise is not to be in a rush to startup, specially if you got a office or shop. As once you move in business rates and rent, will hit you.

Also quite a few new businesses have a few pounds in their pocket, and new business owners have so much to do, starting a new business, other business and people will target you, specially the web designers, designers, advertisers and marketeers. So in the first few months everybody is your friend, but in 6-12 months time, you actually find out who your real friends are, and how lonely running a business can be.

Work out what you actually need and when. And don’t forget these people are in business as much as you, and want to max their profits. And they are more than likely know more tricks than you, so get everything in writing.

Don’t be scared/learn when to say NO! If your quiet you can do other things, renegotiate suppliers, evalute the business, what’s hot what’s not?

Plan… Review plan… Replan.

I was lucky I took over a failing company, with no customer base, supplier relations, in 2 years i’ve upped turnover, moved premises, and seem to keep my head above water.

1 make sure you have the funds to cover your expenses for the first year (as a minimum)

2 dont enter the market based on offering the lowest price, quality counts.

3 dont trust anyone.



Top three business fundamentals workshop.

Top three business fundamentals workshop delivering a workshop for NeST in Barnard Castle 10th January 2013.

Top three business fundamentals workshop

Time Management: A simple process to streamline your enterprise; 5 tips to make your day more profitable.

Look Professional: The easy way to create a professional image; Social Media ,Business Cards, Website, Email.

Customer Service: How a little thought and a smile can make a £1 million; Smile, Follow Up, CRM, Networking, Elevator Pitch, Consultative Sell.

This Bespoke Workshop will greatly improve your business performance!
DATE: 10th January 2013 TIME: 11-2pm VENUE: NeST; 25 Newgate; Barnard Castle; Co Durham; DL12 8RD COST: £20 FREE for NeST Members
BOOKINGS: In person or ring: 01833 695 172


January 12th 2013. ** The workshop went well and thanks for all the attendees. – Paul.